LORD MOON TOOK BIRTH FROM THE LEGENDARY OCEAN OF MILK
FULL MOON OF FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2008- A DAY TO REMEMBER
Moon orbits Earth at an average distance of about 238, 855 miles ( 384,400 Km). Moon makes a trip around Earth every 29.5 days and rotates around his axis in the same time. Moon’s orbit around Earth is elliptical and the closest point of the orbit is called perigee. Last Friday, December 12, Moon was just 221, 560 miles ( 356, 567 Km ) away from Earth and it coincided with the Full Moon Phase. As a consequence, to viewers upon Earth, Moon appeared in the sky, 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than some other Full Moons during the year.
LORD MOON IN INDIAN MYTHOLOGY
Moon is Earth’s only natural satellite. Moon has a special place in Indian traditions, astronomy, and calendar. Indian astrologers have ranked Moon( known as ‘CHANDRA’) as a planet and He belongs to the group of ‘Nine Planets’ ( Nava Graha) and He is married to Ashwini and twenty six other known stars. He is known as ‘SOMA’ and had worshiped Lord Shiva and was given a boon that resulted in the waxing and waning phases of the Moon. Lord Shiva acquired the name of ‘SOM NATH’ which means ‘The Lord of Moon’. In addition, the crescent shaped Moon always adorns the matted hair locks of Lord Shiva.In India, the ‘Moon Day’ or ‘Monday’ is known as ‘SOM VAAR'(the day of Moon). Moon was born when the legendary Ocean of Milk was churned to extract ‘AMRIT’, the Divine Nectar of Immortality. Along with Moon, Goddess LAXMI( the Goddess of Wealth and spouse of Lord VISHNU) also arose from the Ocean of Milk and hence Lord Moon and Goddess LAXMI are considered to be siblings. Hindu festivals are mostly based upon the Lunar Calendar. There are several festivals associated with the Full Moon Day or ‘PURNIMA’. The Spring festival of ‘HOLI’ is celebrated during March(Full Moon of Phalgun). The Full Moon of December is observed as ‘DATTATREYA PURNIMA’. Other festivals include ‘BUDDHA PURNIMA’, GURU PURNIMA’, ‘VAT PURNIMA’, ‘RAKSHA BANDHAN on SHRAVAN PURNIMA’,’SHARAD PURNIMA’, and ‘KARTIK PURNIMA’.
HYMNS IN PRAISE OF LORD MOON KNOWN AS ‘CHANDRA’
1.Dadhi Shanka Tushaa raabham, Ksheeraarnava samudhbhavam
Namaami Sasinam Somam, Shambhor makuta bhushanam.
I respectfully greet Lord Soma, who arose from the ‘Ocean of Milk’, who adorns Lord Shiva’s head like a crown jewel, who is pure white in color and the color resembles the color of yogurt, conch shell, and snow.
2.Ksheera Saagara sampanna, Laxmi priya sahodara
Hirnya makutaabhaasawa bala Chandra namostu tey.
I respectfully greet Lord Chandra, who took His birth from the ‘Ocean of Milk’,the dear brother of Goddess LAXMI, as He rises in the sky with light emanating from His golden crown.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S. Class of April, 1970.